Henderson Island, which lies in the eastern South Pacific, is one of the few atolls in the world whose ecology has been practically untouched by a human presence. Its isolated location provides the ideal context for studying the dynamics of insular evolution and natural selection. It is particularly notable for the 10 plants and four land birds that are endemic to the island. © UNESCO
2020 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Raised and forested coral atoll of exceptional natural beauty
Exceptionally rich endemic flora
Exceptionally rich endemic avifauna
Exceptionally rich endemic invertebrate fauna
Important seabird nesting area (including of globally threatened species)
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|1||Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)||The Henderson Island Restoration Programme aims to restore the island by eradicating invasive rats. Since the failed eradication attempt in 2011, the programme has focussed on research to understand the immediate response of the bird fauna (Bond et al., 2019), and rat ecology that may assist with a future eradication attempt (Oppel et al., 2019). Due to the remoteness of Henderson Island, the programme now supports experimental work on similar tropical Pacific islands to better understand the potential limitations to eradication attempts of invasive rats on tropical islands (Samaniego et al., 2020).||
Amos, W., Nichols, H.J., Churchyard, T., & Brooke, M.de L. (2016) Rat eradication comes within a whisker! A case study from the South Pacific. Royal Society Open Science, 3, 160110.
Benton, T.G. & Lehtinen, P.T. (1995) Biodiversity and origin of the non-flying terrestrial arthropods of Henderson Island. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 261-272.
Benton, T.G. & Spencer, T., eds. (1995) The Pitcairn Islands: Biogeography, ecology and prehistory. Academic Press, London.
Benton, T.G. (1995) Biodiversity and biogeography of Henderson Island's insects. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 245-259.
Benton, T.G. (1995b) From castaways to throwaways - marine litter in the Pitcairn Islands. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 415-422.
BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Available at: http://datazone.birdlife.org/quicksearch?qs=Henderson. Accessed on 21 Dec 2016.
Bond, A.L., Brooke, M. de L., Cuthbert, R.J., Lavers, J.L., McClelland, G.T.W., Churchyard, T., Donaldson, A., Duffield, N., Forrest, A., Harrison, G., Mackinnon, L., Proud, T., Skinner, A., Torr, N., Vickery, J.A., and Oppel, S. (2019). Population status of four endemic land bird species after an unsuccessful rodent eradication on Henderson Island. Bird Conservation International 29, 124-135.
Bond, A.L., Churchyard, T., Cuthbert, R.J., Donaldson, A., Duffield, N., Forrest, A., Havery, S., Lavers, J.L., MacKinnon, L., McClelland, G.T.W., Kelly, J., Proud, T., Skinner, A., Torr, N., Vickery, J.A. and Oppel, S. (2019b). 'Recovery of introduced Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) following a failed eradication attempt on subtropical Henderson Island, South Pacific Ocean'. In: C.R. Veitch, M.N. Clout, A.R. Martin, J.C. Russell and C.J. West (eds.) Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge. pp. 167-174. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Brooke, M.de L. (1995a) The breeding biology of the gadfly petrels Pterodroma spp. of the Pitcairn Islands: characteristics, population sizes and controls. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 213-231.
Brooke, M.de L. (1995b) The modern avifauna of the Pitcairn Islands. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 199-212.
Brooke, M.de L., Cuthbert, R.J., Harrison, G., Gordon, C., & Taggart, M.A. (2013) Persistence of brodifacoum in cockroach and woodlice: Implications for secondary poisoning during rodent eradications. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 97, 183-188.
Brooke, M.de L., O'Connell, T.C., Wingate, D., Madeiros, J., Hilton, G.M., & Ratcliffe, N. (2010) Potential for rat predation to cause decline of the globally threatened Henderson petrel Pterodroma atrata: evidence from the field, stable isotopes and population modelling. Endangered Species Research, 11, 47-59.
Churchyard, T., Proud, T., Brooke, M.de L., O'Keefe, S., Warren, P., & Rodden, M. (2013). Henderson Island Trip Report 2013. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK.
Cuthbert, R.J., Brooke, M.de L., & Torr, N. (2012) Overcoming hermit-crab interference during rodent-baiting operations: a case study from Henderson Island, South Pacific. Wildlife Research, 39, 70-77.
Dawson, J., Oppel, S., Cuthbert, R.J., Holmes, N., Bird, J.P., Butchart, S.H.M., Spatz, D.R., & Tershy, B. (2015) Prioritizing islands for the eradication of invasive vertebrates in the United Kingdom overseas territories. Conservation Biology, 29, 143-153.
Florence, J., Waldren, S., & Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) The flora of the Pitcairn Islands - a review. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 79-119.
Havery, S., Oppel, S., Cole, N., & Duffield, N.D. (2017) Density of three skink species on Henderson Island estimated with hierarchical distance sampling. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 13, 507–516.
Jones, P., Schubel, S., Jolly, J., Brooke, M.de L., & Vickery, J. (1995) Behaviour, natural history, and annual cycle of the Henderson Island rail Porzana atra (Aves: Rallidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 167-183.
Keitt, B., Griffiths, R., Boudjelas, S., Broome, K., Canwell, S., Millett, J., Pitt, W., & Samaniego-Herrera, A. (2015) Best practice guidelines for rat eradication on tropical islands. Biological Conservation, 185, 17-26.
Lambrides, A.B.J. & Weisler, M.I. (2015) Assessing protocols for identifying Pacific island archaeological fish remains: The contribution of vertebrae. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 25, 838-848.
Lavers, J.L. & Bond, A.L. (2017) Trashing paradise: exceptional and rapid accumulation of anthropogenic debris on one of the world’s most remote and pristine islands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, submitted.
Lavers, J.L., McClelland, G.T., MacKinnon, L., Bond, A.L., Oppel, S., Donaldson, A.H., Duffield, N.D., Forrest, A.K., Havery, S.J., & O’Keefe, S. (2016). Henderson Island expedition report: May-November 2015. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK.
Oppel, S., Bond, A.L., Brooke, M.de L., Harrison, G., Vickery, J.A., & Cuthbert, R.J. (2016a) Temporary captive population and rapid population recovery of an endemic flightless rail after a rodent eradication operation using aerially distributed poison bait. Biological Conservation, 204, Part B, 442-448.
Oppel, S., Lavers, J., Donaldson, A., Forrest, A., McClelland, G., Bond, A., & Brooke, M. (2017) Population status, breeding success and ecology of the Henderson Petrel after a failed rat eradication on Henderson Island. Emu, 117, 151–159.
Oppel, S., Lavers, J.L., Bond, A.L., & Harrison, G. (2016b) Reducing the primary exposure risk of Henderson crakes (Zapornia atra) during aerial broadcast eradication by selecting appropriate bait colour. Wildlife Research, 43, 298-303.
Oppel, S., McClelland, G.T.W., Lavers, J.L., Churchyard, T., Donaldson, A., Duffield, N., Havery, S., Kelly, J., Proud, T., Russell, J.C. and Bond, A.L. (2019). 'Seasonal variation in movements and survival of invasive Pacific rats on sub-tropical Henderson Island: implications for eradication'. In: C.R. Veitch, M.N. Clout, A.R. Martin, J.C. Russell and C.J. West (eds.) Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge. pp. 200-208. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Pandolfi, J.M. (1995) Geomorphology of the uplifted Pleistocene atoll at Henderson Island, Pitcairn group. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 63-77.
Preece, R.C. (1995) Systematic review of the land snails of the Pitcairn Islands. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 273-307.
Samaniego, A., Griffiths, R., Gronwald, M., Holmes, N.D., Oppel, S., Stevenson, B.C., & Russell, J.C. (2020) Risks posed by rat reproduction and diet to eradications on tropical islands. Biological Invasions 22, 1365–1378.
Torr, N. & Brown, D. (2012). Henderson Island restoration project post-operational report. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK.
UNEP-WCMC (2011) Henderson Island, UK. In UNEP-WCMC World Heritage Information Sheets. Available at: https://www.unep-wcmc.org/resources-and-data/world-heritage…. Accessed 21 Dec 2016.
Waldren, S., Florence, J., & Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) A comparison of the vegetation communities from the islands of the Pitcairn group. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56, 121-144.
Waldren, S., Weisler, M.I., Hather, J.G., & Morrow, D. (1999) The non-native vascular plants of Henderson Island, South-Central Pacific Ocean. Atoll Research Bulletin, 463, 1-20.